Halfords first-half profits slump

Victoria Pendleton
Image caption Sales of Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton's cycle range did well

Car parts and bicycle retailer Halfords has posted a big drop in first-half profits, as strong summer cycling sales failed to offset a poor start to the year, which was hit by bad weather.

The company said it took advantage of the "summer of sport", with like-for-like cycling sales up 1.9% in the half and 14.7% in the second quarter.

But profit before tax and after exceptional items fell 22.5% to £42.4m.

That was in line with company guidance issued last month.

Revenues in the six months to 28 September came in at £455.6m, a 0.4% rise on the same period a year earlier.

'Disappointing start'

The company said its retail performance had seen two contrasting quarters.

In the first quarter, like-for-like sales - those in stores open more than a year - fell 5.6%. But in the second quarter they rose 5.6%.

"After a disappointing start, it was a particularly strong summer for cycling sales," Halfords said.

"The enthusiasm surrounding British successes in the Tour de France and at the Olympics and Paralympics helped fuel a stronger demand for cycles, cycle products and cycle accessories and we capitalised on this.

"Sales of premium cycles, particularly our exclusive Boardman and Pendleton ranges, were a feature."

Halfords recently appointed Matt Davies, the former head of Pets At Home, as its new chief executive.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites